TG4 Irish Traditional Musician of the Year 2001
Máire's major news for 2019 is that on May 1st in the National Concert Hall, Dublin, she will be the soloist with the Irish National Symphony Orchestra in a concerto for Irish harp (the first such concerto) commissioned by RTÉ Lyric fm for its 20th birthday and written for her by composer Ryan Molloy.
Máire and Chris had a super-busy 2018 - four North American tours, during which they visited Colorado, New Mexico, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Illinois, Missouri and Ontario, a month-long tour of New Zealand, tours in Ireland, the UK, Italy and France, several festival performances - Temple Bar Tradfest, Dublin, Celtic Festival of Southern Maryland, Spring Rain Festival, Ontario, Gower Folk Festival, Wales, Old Songs Festival, NY, International Festival for Irish Harp,Termonfechin, Co. Louth, Catskills Irish Arts Week, NY, Festival on the Green, Middlebury, VT, Somerset Folk Harp Festival, NJ, Fiddler's Green International Festival, Rostrevor, Co Down, Beppe Gambetta Guitar Summit, Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy, Kelso Folk Festival, Scotland and Wellington Folk Festival, New Zealand - and their sixth annual Christmas tour in the UK.
Chris and Máire were delighted to be featured on the first programme of the "Tradfest TG4" TV series, broadcast on November 25th on TG4. You can watch it on catchup TV here.
Chris and Máire were featured on the first programme of the "Tradfest TG4" TV series, broadcast November 25 on TG4. Watch it on catchup TV here.
They were interviewed by Tom Lane for BBC Radio Lincolnshire's "Thursday Night Folk", broadcast December 13th. Listen to it on catchup here.
An interview with them appeared in the Spalding Guardian (Lincolnshire) on December 17th.
...started with a month-long duo tour of New Zealand (sponsored by Culture Ireland and incorporating a headlining appearance at Whare Flat Festival) in January. A subsequent bunch of UK concerts was followed by performances by Máire at Ireland's Gathering Festival and Ballymaloe Grainstore with The Casey Sisters. She and Chris then headed off to Dallas to perform as one of the headlining acts at the North Texas Irish Festival before returning to this side of the pond to do some concerts sponsored by the Arts Council of Wales, followed by a really good fun weekend playing at the Costa del Folk Festival in Ibiza (Spain). The summer included teaching at the International Festival for Irish Harp (An Chúirt Chruitireachta) and performing there with The Casey Sisters, teaching and performing at Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy and the Music Generation Laois Summer School. The autumn brought a fortnight touring in Ireland with Máire's sisters (during which they performed at the Cork Folk Festival and the O'Carolan Festival in Nobber, Co Meath), a six-week duo tour in Canada and the USA (during which Máire and Chris played at the Northern Lights Harp Festival, Ontario and in Québec, Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida) and their annual duo Christmas tour in the UK.
On June 29th 2017 Máire was thrilled to lead over 70 harpers in playing her composition, Harps in Bloom (Termonfechin Times), at the 32nd International Festival for Irish Harp (An Chúirt Chruitireachta) held in Termonfechin, Co. Louth - such an exciting and powerful sound! The performance was televised by RTÉ and broadcast on three news programmes and on RTÉ 2's news2day programme that day. Here's the programme - the harp segment starts right away.
In the lead-up to the Casey Sisters' concert at the Ballymaloe Grainstore, Máire was interviewed by Cork's Evening Echo newspaper (click here to read) and all three sisters were interviewed by one of Ireland's national daily newspapers, The Irish Examiner (click here to read). The cover of their recent CD, Sibling Revelry, is on the right, and here's a video of their performance at the Skibbereen Arts Festival.
Watch Máire playing and chatting on Part I of the TV programme "Mná an Cheoil" (Women in Traditional Music) on TG4 April 2016 - and some archive footage of her playing in the 1970s and 1980s too!
"Celtic Connections", the US public radio programme hosted by Bryan Kelso Crow for WSIU and widely syndicated (to stations in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Texas), broadcast a whole hour-long show about Máire and Chris on 10 November 2016. It incorporated a lengthy interview with them, an overview of their career and a selection of tracks from their recordings. The programme is no longer on the WSIU server, but information about it can still be accessed here and a playlist can be accessed here.
Recent Irish TV programmes featuring Máire and Chris still available on the TG4 server include Part I of the TV programme "Mná an Cheoil" (Women in traditional Music) on TG4, Máire's live TV performance with Anne-Marie O'Farrell and Cormac de Barra on “Gradam Ceoil TG4 2016” and their duo performance on "Hup" on TG4.
In 2015 / 2016 Máire and Chris toured in Australia (twice), the USA (four times), Canada, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, the UK (which included their annual Celtic Christmas Strings tours) and Ireland and gave thirty-seven festival performances. Other notable events in that period were the award to Máire of Female Musician of the Year in the Live Ireland Music Awards 2016 and in the Chicago Irish American News Top TIR Awards (details here) and four TV performances.
After Chris and Máire's wonderful trip to the US in the autumn and their third Celtic Christmas Strings tour of the UK in December, they're currently recording a new CD together...
Watch Máire's live TV performance with Anne-Marie O'Farrell and Cormac de Barra on Gradam Ceoil TG4, Sun 21 Feb, 2016
Co-produced, recorded and mixed by Chris Newman, the new CD received some great reviews in The Irish Times * * * *, The Daily Telegraph * * * *, The Herald Scotland, The Living Tradition, Le Canard Folk (Belgium), Songlines * * * *, Trad Magazine (France) * * * *, Le Peuple Breton, the Boston Irish Reporter (USA), Folk Magazin (Germany), Folk Bulletin (Italy), The Ulster Herald, Fatea, Bright Young Folk, FolkWords, Folking.com and Blogfoolk (Italy). They're all here...
A programme about the three sisters - an extended interview with Ellen Cranitch - was broadcast on "Grace Notes" on RTÉ Lyric FM on Thursday October 8 and is now available to listen to on the RTÉ Player click here and then choose "Thursday 8th October" from the list on the right-hand side of the page.
The CD was played on various BBC stations (including BBC Radio nan Gaidheal, where it was "Caithreim Ciúil"s Album of the Week), several NPR stations in the USA (including WGBH, KRVS, KUAR), on stations in Germany, France and Italy and on RTÉ Lyric FM, Raidio na Gaeltachta, Clare FM, Shannonside Radio, Midwest Radio, Tipp FM and LMFM (Máire was interviewed on LMFM about the album) and KCLR (the sisters were interviewed prior to their performance at the Alternative Kilkenny Arts Festival).
Just prior to the Italian trip, Máire had spent a fortnight teaching and performing at the 30th International Festival for Irish Harp at An Grianán, Termonfechin, Co. Louth (where she also performed at the gala concert with The Heartstring Quartet) and Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy in Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare.
The Irish events were preceded by a tour of Denmark with Chris, Máire's sister, fiddle-player and singer Nollaig Casey and guitarist Arty McGlynn (as The Heartstring Quartet), during which they performed at Halkaer Festival. Máire and Chris had spent April - May touring as a duo on the East Coast of the USA. Less than two weeks before the start of that tour at the Celtic Festival of Southern Maryland, they had returned from a seven-week quartet tour of Australia in February - April which included appearances at Perth International Festival, Port Fairy Folk Festival, Blue Mountains Music Festival, the National Folk Festival, Cobargo Folk Festival and Deloraine StringFest (see here for details) - and in that period managed to fit in duo concerts at the Edinburgh Harp Festival, Coquetdale Music Trust and Lichfield Arts Centre.
Here's a link to an interview with Máire in The Herald Scotland on 8 April, 2015, prior to the Edinburgh Harp Festival performance.
Here's an article about the duo in the May 6 issue of New York City's Irish Voice newspaper.
The quartet's second album, Heartstring Sessions 2, was recorded in January and manufactured in time for the Australian tour! The CD will be released in Europe or the US soon - we'll keep you posted.
Máire and Chris had a wonderful time on their 21-date Celtic Christmas Strings tour of the UK in November / December (flyer on the right) - eight of the concerts were sold out, which was very gratifying, and the whole experience was fantastically good fun! They've posted photos taken on the tour, together with photos of their autumn trips to Italy and Sweden, on their Facebook Page.
Máire and her two fiddle-playing and singing sisters Nollaig and Mairéad performed and taught at the 2nd Harp Weekend at Bandon Walled Town Festival, held in their home town of Bandon, Co. Cork on August 30 - 31. Their concert on August 30th (to a capacity audience in St Peter's Church) included the première of their specially-composed Bandonbridge Suite - a musical representation of the history of the town - and their new CD will be released soon. Here's a video clip of Máire and Nollaig playing together.
Máire's new CD with her sisters...
The flyer for Máire and Chris's